System Improvements Help Davis Monthan Achieve Energy Resiliency

Tucson Electric Power Transmission Line to Expand Capacity for Air Force Base

June 1, 2021
TEP's new 13-mile Irvington to East Loop 138-kV transmission line will expand capacity from DM's existing 46-kV service.

Tucson Electric Power (TEP) is partnering with Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (DM) on upgrades that will satisfy its energy resilience requirements while also serving growing commercial and residential energy demands in the surrounding area north of the base.

"Securing our country's freedom is a 24x7 occupation, so we're proud of the work we're doing together to support base readiness and improve electric reliability for neighboring customers," said Ryan Anderson, the TEP senior key account manager who supports DM.

"The base is a critical part of our nation's air combat command, operating the busiest single runway in the entire U.S. Air Force and creating US$2.6 billion in annual economic activity in our community. We are proud to engage in these long-term planning efforts to support the base's mission."

TEP's new 13-mile Irvington to East Loop 138-kV transmission line will expand capacity from DM's existing 46-kV service. The line will connect with the new Patriot substation, which will be built on a 16-acre site adjacent to the base. Construction is expected to begin this summer.

The new facilities will help DM satisfy energy resilience directives established by the U.S. Defense Department in 2017. Those requirements ensure that military installations continue to improve their electric service reliability and eliminate single points of failure, mitigating potential energy disruptions that may impact mission assurance.

TEP has been working with base officials to move DM onto a looped 138-kV system. In addition to expanding system capacity and increasing resilience, the new Patriot substation will provide TEP crews with direct access to support fast response times. It also will allow the retirement of several older 46-kV substations, improving reliability for all customers in the surrounding area.

"This project wouldn't have been possible without the great collaboration between TEP and DM," said Christopher Lindsey, planning director for transmission and distribution. "This single project improves reliability for the system on many levels and sets us up for supporting our customers well into the future."

DM provided extra space for the Patriot substation that could allow for future projects, including possible energy backup for on-site critical operations. TEP is currently conducting a feasibility study to look at potential next steps.

"This partnership is an example of how TEP's key account managers work to develop win-win scenarios with customers," said David Couture, TEP's manager of business development. "The DM partnership has been a long-term effort by many individuals at TEP and our team appreciates all the dedicated effort and ingenuity they provide."

At the request of DM officials, TEP representatives recently shared details about the TEP/DM Resiliency Partnership with a team from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Electricity and Energy Resilience.

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